Season for Pomegranates September - January
Did you know that grenadine syrup is traditionally crafted by thickening and sweetening pomegranate juice? And that pomegranate juice is used for the natural dyeing of non-synthetic fabrics? The nearly round, 2-5 inch-wide fruit is crowned at its base by a prominent calyx. The tough, leathery skin or rind is typically yellow overlaid with light or deep pink or rich red, making it a stunning autumnal addition to your decor. The interior is separated into compartments by membranous walls and white, spongy, bitter tissue packed with sacs filled with sweetly acidic, juicy, red, pink or whitish pulp - or arils as they are called. In each sac there is one angular, soft or hard seed - for the eating!
How to Buy and Store Pomegranates
When choosing your perfect pomegranate, look at the skin: It should be thin, tough, and unbroken. Pomegranates are picked and shipped once ripe, so they are ready to eat at the time of purchase. Choose those that are heavy for their size, indicating they've got more juice than membrane, with a crown that is free of mold. Pomegranates stay fresh for about two weeks when stored in a cool, dry and relatively dark place. In the refrigerator, they can be safely stored for up to two months. Chances are, you'll get to it long before then.
How to Cook Pomegranates
Have you ever wondered if there was a way to eat and or cut a pomegranate without the mess and the threat of staining your clothes? Well there is! Here OA's tried-and-true, simple process:
- Prep a medium to large bowl of water.
- Cut off the crown of the pomegranate and cut pomegranate in half.
- Place cut pomegranate in bowl of water and peel away seeds from skin and white pith.
- When all seeds have been dislodged, strain seeds and eat!
Enjoy these little beauties as is, toss them into savory or sweet dishes, or use them as a brightly colored garnish. Traditionally, the juice is used to flavor and color rice, and to add zest to chicken, duck, and lamb... just to give you a couple ideas. You can also try our Organic Cranberry, Pomegranate, Persimmon Relish or Organic Mache Salad with Fuyu Persimmons, Pomegranate Seeds and Candied Spiced Nuts.
Health Benefits of Pomegranates
The richly vivid color of pomegranates is as healthful as it is beautiful. Poms are high in antioxidants, vitamin C and potassium, as well as a good source of fiber (as long as you don't spit out the seeds!). A pomegranate's antioxidants come in the form of polyphenols, more precisely three types - tannins, anthocyanins, and ellagic acid - which are incredibly potent and more fruitful in pomegranates than most other fruits. As antioxidants, they are credited with helping in the prevention of cancer and heart disease, among so many other beneficial functions.
Why Buy Natural and Organic Pomegranates
Pomegranates are only recently being recognized as the worthy, commercial fruit they can be. So, the pesticide load is relatively unknown. Most importantly, purchase your pomegranate juice organically, for the whole fruit is involved in the juicing process, including the skin. Owing to pomegranate's less commercialized existence, it's easy to find this brilliant fruit organic when in season. It's always your best option to support sustainable farming methods and to ensure you aren't tainting this incredibly healthy fruit's attributes with harmful toxins.